Innovate or Die, that’s the Future

At Iridia, values play a role in everything we do. We are constantly evaluating ourselves, our strategy and our goals; all to align with our core company values.

We strive to bring our core values alive and at the forefront of business. We encourage employees to think about what they do in the context of those values. We ask questions, make decisions, and conduct business in a way that reflects those values.

Innovation is one area where we keep our employees on their toes. It also happens to be one of our eight core values.

The number one thing you will ask – “how are you building an innovative environment at Iridia?”

Innovate or Die

Understand that thinking innovatively isn’t exactly a natural “go-to” mindset for most. Rather, we strive to cultivate this philosophy through education and an “all hands on board” approach.

For example, one way we approach this hurdle is by setting aside time for a presentation on a new innovative tool every staff meeting.

In as little as 5 minutes, one of our employees will share a presentation with the entire staff on an app, website etc., which they have found to be innovative. We call this the Innovation Corner.

So far a pretty awesome selection of tools has been brought forward:

  • Wordle – Generates word clouds
  • Prezi – Cloud based presentation software
  • TinyURL – URL shortening service
  • 99designs – Crowdsourcing platform
  • DropBox – Cloud based storage and sharing
  • Join.me – Simple screen sharing software
  • Doodle – Online meeting scheduler
  • Elance – Talent sourcing site
  • Clik – Smartphone screen controller
  • Camtasia – Video creation software
  • OneNote – Note taking software
  • Flipboard – A social magazine aggregator
  • Chrome Web Store – App store in your browser

Many of our staff have embraced these tools after watching a short Innovation Corner presentation, but none more so than Prezi.

Innovate or Die

How can we say we are innovative if we are still using dated (*snore) PowerPoint software? …We can’t!

We are doing away with PowerPoint entirely; going forward all our staff will be trained in Prezi. No more boring presentations around this office.

Another one of the ways we have encouraged our staff to think innovation first is through our company tablets.

Our tablets (an iPad and a Kindle) are available to sign-out for employees to enjoy at home or at work. Employees can use these devices to read our through our TED eBook library or our magazine subscriptions to Inc, Harvard Business Review or Bloomberg BusinessWeek. Staff can also use the tablets to assist in their presentations as well. 

We have given our employees the tools they need for innovative thinking, because as the world evolves, so must we. 

“Innovate or die” is the battle cry of modern business, and Iridia is making innovation part of its life blood in order to stay healthy and vibrant in these changing times.

Fastest Man in the World Teaches Us a Lesson about Social Responsibility

Social Responsibility is an important measure of success.

We believe that the bottom line is not the sole measure of company success. As a responsible player in the global marketplace, we are committed to running our business in a way that is socially responsible, environmentally sustainable, and economically profitable.

social responsibility

One of the most talked about athletes heading into the 2012 Games was a Jamaican sprinter by the name of Usain Bolt. Having broken on to the Olympic scene in 2008 in Beijing, Bolt shattered the world record in the 100m and won gold, leaving his competitors in the dust.

This year, all eyes were on him to see if he could do it again. Not only did Bolt defend his gold in the 100m, he also won gold in the 200m and the men’s 4×100 relay, breaking another world record; the first person in Olympic history to do so.

Social Responsibility – Giving Back

Olympic gold, especially in an area as popular and visible as athletics, often leads to endorsements and opportunities to earn significant money. It certainly did for Bolt, a charismatic and dynamic individual, who benefitted financially from his skill and his title as the fastest man in the world in the years following his Olympic win.

Bolt grew up in Trelawny, a small, poor town in Jamaica. He attended public schools that often didn’t have the things we would consider basic in an educational environment.

When fame and wealth came his way, one of the first things he did was to give back to the schools in his home town – from computers, structural improvements, sports equipment and teachers’ salaries, Bolt gave back to his elementary, middle and senior schools.

He has also provided financial support for the establishment of several health centres in Jamaica, and has supported environmental and other causes around the world.

Social Responsibility

Bolt set up a foundation for the continued funding of the causes that are important to him.

The Usain Bolt Foundation’s mission is “the creation of opportunities through education and cultural development for a positive change.” The foundation is “dedicated to the legacy for happy children; to enhance the character of children through educational and cultural development, as they live their dreams.”

Bolt’s commitment to social responsibility doesn’t end with simply providing financial support. His presence is seen and known in his home town, as he spreads his message of hope, encouraging kids to believe in and work toward their dreams.

Usain Bolt believes in being responsible with the fortune he has earned and giving back to a community that doesn’t have much.

Social Responsibility Value

Social responsibility is one of Iridia’s core values because we also believe that’s important. For this reason, we offer our employees paid days off to participate in volunteer activities, as well as contributing financially to worthy local, regional and international causes.

We may not all be as rich as a high-profile Olympic gold medal winner, but all of us can do our part. Whether it’s spending your time or your money, there will always be people who need what you have to give. The question is, are we willing to give it?

Social Responsibility

Many would look at Bolt’s career and say without argument, that he has achieved unparalleled success in his career – shattering records and leaving in his wake a trail of wins. And yet, he would say that success is measured by more than just his achievements on the track.

“I’m honored to be able to put my Olympic win to good use and spread awareness about the causes that are important to me,” says Bolt. “It’s a great feeling to know you have the ability to reach out to so many different people.”

All of us can reach out somewhere and make a difference in our sphere of influence. Those efforts are an important measure of our success.

Innovation Corner – SignNow

SignNow

During our June staff meeting we profiled an app called SignNow.

SignNow is the easiest way to sign a document anywhere you go. You can sign your own documents, or invite clients to sign and close contracts.

To learn more have a look at the Prezi we created to show the app to our staff:

SignNow

What is the Innovation Corner?

Every month, the whole Iridia team gets together for staff meeting. During the meeting, we discuss a variety of topics from our diverse organization. For the past year we have added a topic to the agenda – the Innovation Corner.

Innovation is one of our eight core values at Iridia, values we strive to live every day. It’s one thing to say “hey, innovation is a corporate value of ours,” but it’s another to live it.

We are always keeping our sharp eyes on the lookout; finding creative ways to fit pieces together. In order to “fit pieces together,” we need to do things more efficiently and, if possible, with the use of new tools.

The Innovation Corner is a brief (5 min.) section of the agenda dedicated to the introduction of a story, a tool, a concept, or anything else that might spur on innovation within our team.  Anyone can lay claim to the Innovation Corner in upcoming meetings, and thereby use it to share an innovative find they have come across.

“This effort has already brought forward tools that have been put to immediate use in our business operations.  In seeing how these insights have made a difference for us, we’ve decided to take time out and share them with a broader audience.” – Iridia President

Stay tuned for future updates from the Innovative Corner!

TED – Three Worlds Coming Together.

Technology – Entertainment – Design (TED)

Recently our team at Iridia experienced the worlds of TED at our first ever TEDLive streaming event from February 28th to March 2nd. For four days, we had instant access to the world’s most inspiring voices.

Wait wait wait, let’s back up… Not in the know? Are you asking yourself “what is TED?” If so, you’ve missed a little step. Please read “When is a name more than a name” then head on back.

——

Back? Great, it’s time to tell you about our experience with TED 2012.

First, we needed to find a place to show the event live. We decided on our library room, or as the Iridia staff like to call it, “the Zensation Chamber.”

The “comfy couches” of the Zensation chamber.

Our library gave us just enough room for a few staff to sit back in our comfy chairs, put their feet up and watch TED in its full glory projected onto the wall.

Personally, my favorite talk was an eye opening talk by Brian Greene, which, also happened to be the first talk of the event. For 18 minutes Greene gave us a tour of the multiverse, a mind altering concept of the universe(s) in which we live.

From the discovery of expanding space to the mystery of string theory to a fuel so efficient it spawned multiple “big bangs.” I was hanging on every word.

TED

Universes packed together in the “multiverse.”

It wasn’t all downhill from there though; TED 2012 was full of exciting content. Each talk was unique and gave the staff at Iridia insight into worlds they otherwise would be unaware of.

As TED says, “depending on the speaker and the topic, there could be: blizzards of images, new uses of music, extravagant use of under-used senses, intricate choreography between speaker and screen, new ways of involving the audience, breakthroughs in animation, and intense, campfire-style storytelling.

With TED, you never know what surprise is around the corner.

Here’s what some of our staff had to say:

  • “I thought it was great! I got to see things I normally wouldn’t have been able to.”
  • “I had never heard about TED before. Now that I have seen it, I have been missing out!”
  • “TED was a really great experience. I enjoyed learning about new subjects.”
  • “My only gripe is that I wish the talks were longer!”

All in all, it was an illuminating four days around the office.

Why did Iridia choose to stream TED 2012? Well, we are huge proponents of innovation; in fact, it is one of our 8 core values. We believe in a little thing called “living our values.” So, when the idea came forward to stream the world’s most innovative talks from our office, we jumped on the opportunity. It proved to be a great way to bring staff together, let their imagines run wild and have them discover fresh ideas.

As a team, we look forward to seeing what delights TED 2013 has to offer.

I leave you with this exceptional TED talk:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1c7ioascSfo]

Innovation Corner – Camtasia

Introduction

Every month, the whole Iridia team gets together or Skype’s in for a staff meeting. During the meeting, we discuss a variety of topics from our diverse organization. For the past 11 months we have added a new topic to the agenda – The Innovation Corner.

Innovation is one of our eight core values at Iridia, values we strive to live every day. It’s one thing to say “hey, innovation is a corporate value of ours,” but it’s another to live it.

We are always keeping our sharp eyes on the lookout; finding creative ways to fit pieces together. In order to “fit pieces together,” we need to do things more efficiently and, if possible, with the use of new tools.

A message from our vice president – what is the Innovation Corner?

“The Innovation Corner is a brief (5 min.) section of the agenda dedicated to the introduction of a story, a tool, a concept, or anything else that might spur on innovation within our team.  Anyone can lay claim to the Innovation Corner in upcoming meetings, and thereby use it to share an innovative find they have come across.

This effort has already brought forward tools that have been put to immediate use in our business operations.  In seeing how these insights have made a difference for us, we’ve decided to take time out and share them with a broader audience.”

Camtasia

This past Monday, we profiled a unique tool called Camtasia. Camtasia is a program that allows you to screen capture video with ease.

Capture, edit, save and then publish. Camtasia has it all.

Have you ever tried to walk someone through a troubleshooting process over the phone? It’s painful. With Camtasia, capture a video of the steps yourself, edit the video, save it and then send it to user, or upload it to YouTube.

Capturing, editing and publishing video can sound scary, but with Camtasia it’s easy. No training required to use this program. In no time you will be creating interactive videos for product demo’s, creating video for your blog, or troubleshooting staff from afar.

Camtasia

Interested? Head over the TechSmith and give it a 30-day trial run, for free.

http://www.techsmith.com/camtasia.html

Stay tuned, as we will be updating you with all the unique and innovative tools we use around Global.